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View Full Version : Four Lions.... REALLY good movie


JonIrenicus
11-17-2010, 02:07 AM
now most of you will not be able to see it as I suspect many live in some backwater mountain wilderness town with livestock in your front yards, but for those that live in large cities/civilization, you MAY have a single theatre in your area.


It's a satire about a retarded group trying to wage jihad in the UK, sometimes funny, other times serious, well made and acted through and through. Most of you will never actually go see this, or even watch it if it hits netflix or something, but IF you saw it, you would be glad you did.




I also saw Bjorn Lomborgs documentary "Cool It" earlier in the week, it was pretty good too. Same arguments for those familiar with his talks before, but it was a nicely packaged case for his side of things. He does have the stronger one, but your mileage will vary if you went to see it.

Most rational people will find his arguments persuasive, but the ultimate catastrophe crowd will probably just be annoyed at having their malthusian bubbles assaulted with logical needles.

bjkeefe
11-17-2010, 02:45 AM
[...]

I also saw Bjorn Lomborgs documentary "Cool It" earlier in the week, it was pretty good too. Same arguments for those familiar with his talks before, but it was a nicely packaged case for his side of things. He does have the stronger one, but your mileage will vary if you went to see it.

Most rational people will find his arguments persuasive, but the ultimate catastrophe crowd will probably just be annoyed at having their malthusian bubbles assaulted with logical needles.

I'm sure Lomborg will be glad to hear at least one sap bought the repackaging effort. Here's a review by someone else who saw the movie, and was a little less persuaded.

"Cool It": A climate-change heretic repairs his image
In "Cool It," one-time scientific outcast Bjørn Lomborg solves all the world's problems at once

It's difficult to tell, from the film "Cool It," whether Bjørn Lomborg enjoys pissing people off, or whether that's just collateral damage. [...]

[...]

Director Ondi Timoner (who also made the fascinating early-Internet-age documentary "We Live in Public") depicts the buff, blond Lomborg biking to work at his middle-way Copenhagen think tank, where he convenes groups of economists, engineers and scientists and engineering wonks to ponder cost-benefit analyses of how to address virtually every major problem afflicting Planet Earth: malnutrition, sanitation, water, education, housing, healthcare, HIV/AIDS and so on. Oh yeah, including global warming, which Lomborg emphatically says is happening and poses real risks. So why is it that when I brought up Lomborg during a Salon editorial meeting, a co-worker nodded and said, "Oh yeah -- the global-warming skeptic"?

Maybe it's because Lomborg's books, including "The Skeptical Environmentalist" in 2001 and "Cool It: The Skeptical Environmentalist's Guide to Global Warming" (the basis for this film) in 2007, have been "hugely influential in providing cover to politicians, climate-change deniers, and corporations that don't want any part of controls on greenhouse emissions," as Newsweek's Sharon Begley (http://www.newsweek.com/2010/02/21/book-review-the-lomborg-deception.html#) has written. In those books, Lomborg generally reached the conclusion that global warming wasn't nearly as bad as the doomsayers predicted. It was likely to keep on happening no matter what we did, and we were better off spending our money on other priorities and buying some extra galoshes and sunscreen. Lomborg isn't a climate-change denier and never was, but you might say that he plays one on TV, allowing all sorts of nutso right-wingers, creationists, free-marketeers and oil companies to wrap themselves in his quasi-scientific mantle. (Sen. James Inhofe of Oklahoma, a leading denier who has a decent claim on being the craziest person ever elected to national office in the United States, is a big fan.)

The rest. (http://www.salon.com/entertainment/movies/andrew_ohehir/2010/11/12/cool_it)

From the quoted Begley link, the beginning:

Book Review: The Lomborg Deception
Debunking the claims of the climate-change skeptic.

In naming roustabout, lumberjack, ironworker, and dairy farmer America's “worst jobs,” CareerCast.com omitted one whose awfulness is counterbalanced only by its public-spiritedness: fact-checking Bjørn Lomborg.

The Danish political scientist won fame and fans by arguing that many of the alarms sounded by environmental activists and scientists—that species are going extinct at a dangerous rate, that forests are disappearing, that climate change could be catastrophic—are bogus. A big reason Lomborg was taken seriously is that both of his books, The Skeptical Environmentalist (in 2001) and Cool It(in 2007), have extensive references, giving a seemingly authoritative source for every one of his controversial assertions. So in a display of altruistic masochism that we should all be grateful for (just as we're grateful that some people are willing to be dairy farmers), author Howard Friel has checked every single citation in Cool It. The result is The Lomborg Deception, which is being published by Yale University Press next month. It reveals that Lomborg's work is "a mirage," writes biologist Thomas Lovejoy in the foreword. "[I]t is a house of cards…Friel has used real scholarship to reveal the flimsy nature" of Lomborg's work.

And see also: "More on the Lomborg Deception (http://climateprogress.org/2010/09/01/the-lomborg-deception/)."

JonIrenicus
11-17-2010, 05:11 AM
I don't think anyone has to worry about his messages mass appeal due to this documentary, the theatre was near empty. And I am sure most people who dismiss his case are perfectly content at never giving it a fair hearing. Best to rely on hit jobs by proxy than hear the arguments directly in narrative forum.


But his argument is very basic, all the efforts put forward to combat global warming will have a minimal effect. So rather than try to conserve our way out, or artificially raise the price of fossil fuels, you need to get the cost of cleaner energy low enough to the point where rational developing nations adopt the technology and make the switch of their own accord.


That is literally the ONLY way it is going to happen in the real world, and not the fantasy one of hitting lower emissions targets. That latter project is primarily the concern of rich western liberals who have a much higher standard of living and health care and access to jobs and cars and homes.

Period.

People don't like Lomborg because these types of arguments he makes are hard for rational people to dismiss. So instead of dealing with the arguments head on, they shift to character assassination. That or they raise the specter of doomsday scenarios to inflate the case for imminent danger.

bjkeefe
11-17-2010, 07:02 AM
I don't think anyone has to worry about his messages mass appeal due to this documentary, the theatre was near empty. And I am sure most people who dismiss his case are perfectly content at never giving it a fair hearing. Best to rely on hit jobs by proxy than hear the arguments directly in narrative forum.

You mean, soak up a soothing story that you'd like to believe, told to you by a guy who's made quite a name for himself telling soothing stories over the years?

[...] People don't like Lomborg because these types of arguments he makes are hard for rational people to dismiss.

Tell me you don't actually think it works to keep repeating that people who disagree with you can't possibly be rational. How long have you been on this forum?

So instead of dealing with the arguments head on, they shift to character assassination. [...]

Welp, any time there's a stale card to play, there's a staler card right behind it, isn't there?

For about the 943rd time, JonI, it's not "character assassination" for me to offer a little background information on somebody who you're holding up as an authority, let alone as just about the only guy with the right answer to an immensely complex, incompletely understood, global problem.

Especially when you're trying, preemptively, to dismiss everyone who doesn't agree with you about him as irrational or interested only in scare tactics and doomsday scenarios or whatever.

And really, when you think about it, isn't what you're trying to do itself character assassination?

chiwhisoxx
11-17-2010, 11:41 AM
I'm sure Lomborg will be glad to hear at least one sap bought the repackaging effort. Here's a review by someone else who saw the movie, and was a little less persuaded.



The rest. (http://www.salon.com/entertainment/movies/andrew_ohehir/2010/11/12/cool_it)

From the quoted Begley link, the beginning:



And see also: "More on the Lomborg Deception (http://climateprogress.org/2010/09/01/the-lomborg-deception/)."

Is there a reason that last link has:

"...not for the feint of heart"

in the first sentence? Inside joke I'm missing or something?

AemJeff
11-17-2010, 11:58 AM
Is there a reason that last link has:

"...not for the feint of heart"

in the first sentence? Inside joke I'm missing or something?

It's a joke. Lomborg's carefully crafted scholarly veneer seems to have turned out to be a smoke screen. The implication is that if you try to follow him closely, the effort involved becomes difficult and tedious, since so much of what he asserts turns out no to be supported by his references. It doesn't have to be parsed as simply a partisan crack - there are objective standards to which we can appeal when judging his work product.

stephanie
11-17-2010, 12:04 PM
now most of you will not be able to see it as I suspect many live in some backwater mountain wilderness town with livestock in your front yards, but for those that live in large cities/civilization, you MAY have a single theatre in your area.

Oh, for heaven's sake.

Fluffy Foo Foo
11-17-2010, 01:08 PM
I will be watching this. Have enjoyed the clips that can be found online so far.

Fluffy Foo Foo
11-17-2010, 01:10 PM
Preach it!!! Love me some Copenhagen Consensus.

JonIrenicus
11-17-2010, 08:16 PM
For about the 943rd time, JonI, it's not "character assassination" for me to offer a little background information on somebody who you're holding up as an authority, let alone as just about the only guy with the right answer to an immensely complex, incompletely understood, global problem.

Especially when you're trying, preemptively, to dismiss everyone who doesn't agree with you about him as irrational or interested only in scare tactics and doomsday scenarios or whatever.

And really, when you think about it, isn't what you're trying to do itself character assassination?


Actually, I think it's more name calling than anything else. But look, it's his attitude towards the last question answered here that grates peoples nerves the most I think.


http://dotearth.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/11/13/questioning-bjorn-lomborg/?partner=rss&emc=rss



His reaction to the range of possibilities of harm is not to enact policy based on the most far out disaster scenario.


Many people concerned about global warming want to assume the worst, and take out a high cost gold plated insurance policy. The blinders come at the near obliviousness at the cost and economic retardation such an insurance policy might produce to pay for that gold plated plan.

And here is the rub, even if some tipping point was reached, we hit some 2% chance of the worst possible outcome, I think I'd rather have another billion people out of poverty in societies that were allowed to grow more rapidly and become more wealthy than artificially constrain societies trying to get ahead.

I want more Chiles as fast as possible, and fewer Haitis as fast as possible. Wealth matters, it is not nothing, and slowing its uptake has consequences. Do you care?

The only thing you focus on with climate change are the external forces of the universe, never a care about the internal resilience brought by a more prosperous society.

Chile and Haiti highlight the cost of prosperity better than anything else against a natural disaster.

~500 deaths vs ~90,000 +++ deaths

Now.. looking at that, if someone were to argue the vastly increased need and capacity to prevent earthquakes.... even if it was not beyond us to do, it would be a better use of resources to get societies more prosperous faster. And yes we would prefer they did so in a cleaner way, which is why the focus ought to be on making the cleaner ways the cheaper ways as the primary focus. Not retarding their carbon output, and so, their growth. That is to people like Lomborg and I... retarded.

bjkeefe
11-18-2010, 01:38 AM
Actually, I think it's more name calling than anything else. But look, it's his attitude towards the last question answered here that grates peoples nerves the most I think.


http://dotearth.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/11/13/questioning-bjorn-lomborg/?partner=rss&emc=rss

I'm not (I hope I'm not) going to get sucked in to responding to his glibness point by point, but ferfuckssake, he's wrong in his very first answer.

Whatever may not have been settled enough for the IPCC to include in its last report as part of its predictions about ice flow dynamics is immaterial. He is misrepresenting the basics, or at least doing a lot of hand-waving to obscure them. Their sea level rising predictions did not include any contribution from land-based ice suddenly melting faster, and/or sliding into the sea where it would melt faster, because no one knew how to quantify it confidently enough. However, the actual best understanding was then, and is now, that everyone qualified to opine knows that it will only make matters worse.

Further, since the last IPCC report, two things: the range of predictions about increased sea levels has shifted upward, and there is some confidence being developed in the estimations of the contributions from ice flow dynamics. I posted an article discussing both of these things elsewhere (http://bloggingheads.tv/forum/showthread.php?p=188536&highlight=ice+dynamics#post188536) on this very board, just three days ago.

All right. By sheer force of will, I jump to the last question. Ah, this again.

He is (as you are) arguing with a largely imaginary foe. Very few people, especially among those with any sort of power, are ready to make life worse right now out due to being terrorized about the disaster scenarios. Virtually no one wants to do anything that would make matters even worse for those already living hand-to-mouth. Most people who want to do something, because they believe the problem is serious or at least potentially serious, want to do all the easy (non-bank-breaking) things we could be doing right now, for a start, while we try to learn more about the problem. We also want to start talking, now, about what we should do if/as we become more certain that we'll have to take more severe steps.

His reaction to the range of possibilities of harm is not to enact policy based on the most far out disaster scenario.

Pretty much already addressed this, but to augment, the problem with this reverence people like you have for Lomborg is that you're failing to realize how easy it is for the denialist camp to appropriate his oh-so-reasonable-sounding pitch as an excuse to do nothing.

This is his approach, and it's always been his approach: (1) let's not panic (=let's not do anything, basically), (2) because ????, and then (3) presto, we will have new clean, safe, non-polluting energy technology, hurrah!

And he compounds this, as do you, by imagining anyone who is not working for the Koch Bros and their ilk is bent on slapping a gazillion dollar tax on every carbon-based product on the planet. It's superficial at best, and it's easily distilled into pure bullshit by all those people who are making bank off of fossil fuels, who have spent the past quarter-century using the same polarizing tactics the tobacco companies used to turn this into yet another, just another, left/right culture war.

Many people concerned about global warming want to assume the worst, and take out a high cost gold plated insurance policy.

Already addressed. PS: Define "many." And try to do it without mentioning or alluding to a cartoon version of Al Gore, James Hansen, or some obvious opening positions by those who hoped to get to the negotiating table to hammer out an energy policy, back when the Democrats were only behind by -18 in the Senate.

The blinders come at the near obliviousness at the cost and economic retardation ...

All right. Sorry to interrupt, but I'm familiar with his pitch, even if this is all new to you, so I'm not going to respond to the rest of your repetition of it. I can see you're entranced by a rock star right now, so I'm going to let a little time pass and see if you regain your ability to think a little skeptically, and maybe even make the effort to familiarize yourself with some of his critics.

Try to remember the old saw: if something sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

But before I close, I want to say that I originally came back to this thread to pass along the observation made by the indefatigable watchdog Substance McGravitas (http://houseofsubstance.blogspot.com/2010/11/data-is-state-of-mind.html), that (better sit down for this) Lomborg is now peddling the same line of bullshit (http://bighollywood.breitbart.com/blomborg/2010/11/07/what-conservatives-and-everybody-else-could-learn-from-new-film-cool-it/) on Breitbart's Big Ho. Making the same argument that people like you, and worse, the hardcore denialists just soak right up:

What Conservatives (and Everybody Else) Could Learn From New Film ‘Cool It’

For nearly two decades now, people have been arguing about climate change and getting nowhere. Right-wingers argue that global warming is a hoax based on unsubstantiated science, while left-wingers insist that not only is it real but unless we spend everything we have and more trying to stop it, the world will end tomorrow.

To which I say, “Stop—you’re both wrong!”

This is the same false dichotomy I addressed above. He is asserting that anyone who is not a denialist demands that we go crazy with draconian solutions immediately.

And of course, anyone who thinks global warming is not a hoax is by his definition a "left-winger." Because politicizing the hell out of a pure science issue? Oh yeah, that always helps. And lookit that! Having defined the only other possibility beside being a hoaxer as being a radical who thinks we're doomed unless we shut off all the lights immediately, he gets to emerge as the Only Sensible Voice, because we all know that once it's a question of Left vs Right, the Real Answer Lies Somewhere In The Middle. Nice work if you can get it.

Also, he's flat-out lying to say we've gotten nowhere in the past two decades. Or, at best, he's woefully behind on his reading, in which case, he has no business posing as an expert.

And meanwhile, he's ignoring that the flip side of his two positions is, sadly, not a fringe position. It is, rather, the most popular position for senior Republicans. The beginning of a summary from one month ago (http://www.nytimes.com/2010/10/18/opinion/18mon1.html):

Former Vice President Dick Cheney has to be smiling. With one exception, none of the Republicans running for the Senate — including the 20 or so with a serious chance of winning — accept the scientific consensus that humans are largely responsible for global warming.

The candidates are not simply rejecting solutions, like putting a price on carbon, though these, too, are demonized. They are re-running the strategy of denial perfected by Mr. Cheney a decade ago, repudiating years of peer-reviewed findings about global warming and creating an alternative reality in which climate change is a hoax or conspiracy.

Some candidates are emphatic in their denial, like the Nevada Republican Sharron Angle, who flatly rejects “the man-caused climate change mantra of the left.” Others are merely wiggly, like California’s Carly Fiorina, who says, “I’m not sure.” Yet, over all (the exception being Mark Kirk in Illinois), the Republicans are huddled around an amazingly dismissive view of climate change.

A few may genuinely believe global warming is a left-wing plot. Others may be singing the tune of corporate benefactors. And many Republicans have seized on the cap-and-trade climate bill as another way to paint Democrats as out-of-control taxers.

In one way or another, though, all are custodians of a strategy whose guiding principle has been to avoid debate about solutions to climate change by denying its existence — or at least by diminishing its importance. The strategy worked, destroying hopes for Congressional action while further confusing ordinary citizens for whom global warming was already a remote and complex matter. It was also remarkably heavy-handed.

More here (http://www.nytimes.com/cwire/2010/09/20/20climatewire-climate-change-skeptics-sweeping-gop-senate-75251.html), from a month before that.

So, y'know, if occasionally people who actually understand the science get a little shrill from time to time, maybe you, Mr. Rational, could put your big brain to work in understanding why that might be.

Starwatcher162536
11-18-2010, 12:17 PM
Many consider making fossil fuels more expansive as the expedient route towards cheaper and more effective renewable technology. This is why I favor budget neutral taxes on fossil fuels but am generally against subsidies for green energy.

bjkeefe
11-18-2010, 02:52 PM
Many consider making fossil fuels more expansive as the expedient route towards cheaper and more effective renewable technology.

For want of a nail, a kingdom was lost.

(I presume you meant expensive.)

;)

cragger
11-19-2010, 11:09 AM
The issue isn't one of "artificially making fossil fuels more expensive". For a market solution to work, we need to start paying the true cost of fossil fuels. They are economically attractive at the transaction level now because we pay large amounts for their use in other ways. We have spent trillions of dollars over the last 40 years on the Carter Doctrine - building, maintaining and deploying a force structure to dominate the Persian Gulf and fighting wars there to maintain the oil flow. We have probably spent trillions more subsidizing particular market solutions that use fossil fuels. All those roads, bridges, parking lots, and so on haven't built, maintained, plowed, and patrolled themselves for the last century, for one example.

Fossil fuels are a textbook case of market distortion through externalization of costs. Costs of aquisition externalized through taxation, maintenance of fossil fuel using technologies subsidized through taxation, and large costs of use externalized in the various and considerable health costs and environmental costs involved in processing, transport, and use of fossil fuels.

The problem isn't one of a need to artificially raise the cost of fossil fuels to make other types of energy more attractive. The problem is that the use of fossil fuels is currently and deliberately held artificially low at the transaction level to make them economically attractive. There isn't anything particularly mysterious or secret about this, so much so that claims to the contrary - that someone is trying to artificially raise the cost of fossil fuels to make alternatives attractive - seem not merely completely wrong but also to be dishonest.

Ocean
11-19-2010, 05:01 PM
The issue isn't one of "artificially making fossil fuels more expensive". For a market solution to work, we need to start paying the true cost of fossil fuels. They are economically attractive at the transaction level now because we pay large amounts for their use in other ways. We have spent trillions of dollars over the last 40 years on the Carter Doctrine - building, maintaining and deploying a force structure to dominate the Persian Gulf and fighting wars there to maintain the oil flow. We have probably spent trillions more subsidizing particular market solutions that use fossil fuels. All those roads, bridges, parking lots, and so on haven't built, maintained, plowed, and patrolled themselves for the last century, for one example.

Fossil fuels are a textbook case of market distortion through externalization of costs. Costs of aquisition externalized through taxation, maintenance of fossil fuel using technologies subsidized through taxation, and large costs of use externalized in the various and considerable health costs and environmental costs involved in processing, transport, and use of fossil fuels.

The problem isn't one of a need to artificially raise the cost of fossil fuels to make other types of energy more attractive. The problem is that the use of fossil fuels is currently and deliberately held artificially low at the transaction level to make them economically attractive. There isn't anything particularly mysterious or secret about this, so much so that claims to the contrary - that someone is trying to artificially raise the cost of fossil fuels to make alternatives attractive - seem not merely completely wrong but also to be dishonest.

Excellent points.

stephanie
11-19-2010, 05:34 PM
The problem is that the use of fossil fuels is currently and deliberately held artificially low at the transaction level to make them economically attractive. There isn't anything particularly mysterious or secret about this, so much so that claims to the contrary - that someone is trying to artificially raise the cost of fossil fuels to make alternatives attractive - seem not merely completely wrong but also to be dishonest.

As Ocean said excellent points, and I agree about the conclusion, too. You'd think that anyone focused on the importance of letting the market work would also think it important to include the true costs, so that people would take those into account when making purchasing and investment decisions.

When I was in law school, there were lots of law & econ people in environmental law (typically law & econ people were considered conversative -- basically Richard Posner and U of Chicago types), and they were all into the solution being not restricting emissions but adding externalities back into the cost in some way. Odd how this kind of thing is now being portrayed.

bjkeefe
11-19-2010, 08:53 PM
As Ocean said excellent points, and I agree about the conclusion, too. You'd think that anyone focused on the importance of letting the market work would also think it important to include the true costs, so that people would take those into account when making purchasing and investment decisions.

When I was in law school, there were lots of law & econ people in environmental law (typically law & econ people were considered conversative -- basically Richard Posner and U of Chicago types), and they were all into the solution being not restricting emissions but adding externalities back into the cost in some way. Odd how this kind of thing is now being portrayed.

I sometimes suggest, only partly tongue in cheek, that one way way to show people the true cost of oil would be to add tax at the gasoline pump sufficient to pay for, say, one-fourth of the DoD's budget.